Tom Brady has now won more Super Bowls than any other player or NFL franchise. Steelers and Patriots fans will know their teams hold a record six wins in the Big Game. All six of the Patriots victories came with Brady at quarterback.
After leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last night, Brady now has seven to his name.
Not only that, he picked up another Super Bowl MVP award, his fifth such award.
So how did Brady’s bunch achieve the win? How dd Tampa Bay land their second Super Bowl victory in franchise history and in doing so, become the first team to win the Super Bowl in their home stadium?
Tom Brady is unreal. pic.twitter.com/Nh7ELUDqVs
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) February 8, 2021
Brady’s Consistency Throughout The Playoffs
Despite the plaudits for Brady, the truth of the matter is there were a number of other factors which played as big a part in the Bucs victory as the quarterback.
Brady did what Brady does. He was efficient and effective as he has been throughout the entire playoff run for Tampa. His performance in the playoffs has been very consistent in terms of points scored.
Brady’s offense combined for 31 against Washington, 30 against the Saints, 31 against the Packers and 31 once again in the Super Bowl.
In truth, many people felt that the Bucs would score between 20 and 30 points in this game. And 31 seems about par for the course for Brady this year.
However, the real key to the victory lay in the minor details and the performance of the Tampa Bay defense.
Tampa Defensive Display Provides Foundation To Victory
If the Tampa Bay offense performed as expected, the same cannot be said of the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes and his offense were emphatically stopped thanks to the excellent efforts of Todd Bowles Bucs defense.
To hold the Chiefs to just nine points and no touchdowns was more than Bowles could have dreamed when he devised his game plan to stop Mahomes and company. His players then carried out that plan with ruthless efficiency.
Mahomes hit with just 26 of 49 passes for 270 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for just 33 yards.
In contrast, Brady went 21/29 passing for 201 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Efficient and effective.
The reason for Mahomes struggles was the play of the Bucs defense. Mahomes may have rushed for 33 yards, but he ran probably ten times that distance trying to evade the Bucs pass rush behind the line of scrimmage.
And then even when he did evade the tackles and got off a trademark pass, his usually reliable receiving corps often failed to hold onto the ball, or the Bucs defense slapped the pass down.
In terms of the stats, this looked like an even game. But because the Bucs made the key plays when they needed them most and the Chiefs failed to do that, this led to the Buccaneers eventual victory.
Decisive Second Quarter
The key part of the game was the second quarter. With the Bucs leading 7-3 at the end of the firstquarter, the Chiefs held the Bucs on 4th and 1 at their 1 yard line to deny them a touchdown. It looked like being a game-changing moment.
However, after a poor special teams play, the Bucs received the ball back a short time later on the Chiefs 38 yards line. After the Chiefs stopped them on third and five, a field goal attempt was nullified by a penalty, which handed the Bucs a first down.
Brady took the gift, hitting Rob Gronkowski for another touchdown to extend the lead to 14-3.
The Chiefs then hit a field goal to cut that deficit to a single score 14-6, but on their next drive, two big pass interference calls on the Chiefs defense led to Brady hitting Antonio Brown for the Bucs third touchdown of the game handing them a 21-6 half time lead.
That huge change in momentum and scoreline set the scene for the Bucs to efficiently manage the game in the second half while Mahomes and his offense struggled against the Bucs defense.
What Next For Brady & Co?
When head coach Bruce Arians put together this Tampa Bay team, he knew he had one or maybe two seasons to land a Super Bowl. He achieved that first time of asking. It’s hard to see the Bucs making too many changes next season as they will go for back-to-back Super Bowl victories.
For the Chiefs, the way their offense was nullified for the first time in two seasons will be a sobering thought for Andy Reid. There’s no doubt Mahomes turf toe injury has impacted his mobility. This defeat will sting but the Chiefs will be back next season.
DraftKings Sportsbook already has the Chiefs as the +550 favourites to win the Super Bowl in 2021/22. The Bucs are at +900 with the Packers as the second favourites.
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Brady will likely give himself another year in Tampa Bay to see if he can earn an eighth Super Bowl title. Given how this season has gone, few would bet against the greatest of all time achieving that.